NICOLAI REMISOV (Russian/American / 1887-1975)

The graphic artist Nicolai (Nikolai) Remisov was born in St Petersburg and died in Palm Springs. Both of Nicolai Remisov's parents were actors in the Russian Imperial Theatre. Remisov married at just 17, and his only son Leonid was born the following year. Nicolai Remisov began his career creating satirical cartoons, first for the magazine Strely and from 1908 in a journal he founded with several others, Satiricon. Remisov's cartoons were signed with a shortened version of his name, Re-mi. In 1910 Nicolai Remisov entered the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts, graduating with honors in 1918 (his studies having been interrupted by military service in WWI). Remisov re-founded Satiricon as Novy Satiricon, which was published from 1914-1918, when it was suppressed by the Bolsheviks. Facing trial, Remisov fled with his family first to Ukraine, then Turkey, then France. Settled in Paris in 1921, Nicolai Remisov was asked to create the sets for Nikita Balieff's Russian cabaret, the Chauve-Souris. This was a huge success, especially in New York, where Nicolai Remisov became a fashionable figure. He was commissioned to provide illustrations for Vanity Fair and Vogue, given an exhibition at the Wildenstein Gallery, and asked by Elizabeth Arden to design her beauty salons. In 1924 Remisov broke with Balieff to open his own Russian-themed New York nightclub, Club Petrushka, entirely decorated with his own murals. After Club Petrushka was destroyed by fire, Nicolai Remisov moved to Chicago, where he taught at the Chicago Art Institute, and designed sets for the ballet companies of Adolph Bolm and Ruth Page, and for the Chicago Grand Opera. In 1938 Remisov moved to California, to join Adolph Bolm who was now Ballet Master of the San Francisco Opera. Perhaps inevitably, this led to a move away from theatre design and into art direction for Hollywood films. Throughout his life, Nicolai Remisov balanced commercial art and design, work for theatre and film, and his own fine art.

See also:

Selected prints by NICOLAI REMISOV

View all available prints by NICOLAI REMISOV